Comer Urges McConnell to Go Nuclear on Spending Bill

Jan 24, 2018

Credit Lisa Autry

Kentucky Congressman James Comer says he thinks the Senate needs to use the nuclear option in order to approve a long-term spending bill.

Following a speech to members of the Barren River Area Development District on Wednesday, the Tompkinsville Republican said he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville about changing the rules in his chamber that would allow an appropriations bill to pass with a majority of votes.

"You should only use the nuclear option in extreme scenarios," stated Comer.  "They used it when they couldn't get to 60 on the Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. I think keeping the government open is more important than the Supreme Court, which is very important, as well."

Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are required to approve legislation, but the make-up is 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.

The latest budget stalemate was resolved when Senate Democrats were assured there would be a vote coming soon on whether to give permanent status to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

The federal government is operating under a stop-gap spending bill until February 8.  Comer says the most essential function of government is passing a budget and he hopes "cooler heads" prevail in the next three weeks so that a government shutdown never happens again.